Naija Lottery Begins Operations With 1,500 Point Of Sales
Naija Lottery, the trade name of the International Lottery Gaming Limited (ILGL) in Nigeria has commenced operations in Lagos and other states across the country with 1,500 point of sales
This followed the granting of a -10 -years duration grade A national license by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).
The company stated that Naija Lottery was offering two games: the popular 5/90 with five daily draws and the newly introduced instant game 1/36, which will offer additional excitement to Nigerian players.
The company added that it will begin operations with 1,500 points of Sales which will increase to 10,000 within one year.
Speaking at the official launch of Naija Lottery’s operation at the company’s headquarters in Lagos, the Director General of the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Adolphus Joe Ekpe stated that lottery has the potential not only to increase government revenue but to also create wealth and employment for Nigerians in the face of dwindling oil revenue.
He commended Naija Lottery for the feat attained in its know-how of lottery, betting, racing & video lottery operations and its leading-edge technology.
According to Ekpe, “This project will create employment for Nigeria because lottery creates employment. Those who would market the ticket, they work for the company. Now secondly it would create income because those who play stand the chance of winning”.
Speaking further, he pointed out that it would create income for the government, noting that government has to derive revenue from it because statutorily 20 per cent of the proceeds of lottery should be remitted to the National Lottery Trust Fund to be used for genuine purposes.
He listed some of the projects the revenue generated from lottery should be used for to include: projects that touch the lives of ordinary people such as roads, hospitals or supporting sports equipment and other things affecting lives of ordinary people.
He explained that the proceeds of lottery create income for the government and for the individuals, adding that by the Act that established NLRC, 50 per cent is for prizes, 20 per cent as government proceed and 30 per cent goes to the operator.
“Apart from that it reduces crime because when people are gainfully employed, you tend to run away from crimes. It will form another way of diversifying our economy because we are now depending solely on oil and the oil price is going down. Lotteries are another way of diversifying economy and remember that lottery depends on human being and we have high human population. Therefore this is one of the sectors that should be encouraged”. he said
Ekpe urged the company to play by the rules in a transparent way to ensure that the money that meant for government would be given to government, adding that lottery should be played in a way that somebody does not even need to come here to participate.
Lottery business, he pointed out should be an online thing and must be automated such that people can play from all parts of the country.
The NLRC boss stated that Naija Lottery met all the requirements for the commission to give it operating licence, saying they were given a license last year and that now it has commenced operation.
The Lottery Commission DG said that attempts by states to licence lottery companies before they start operations in the states amounts to duplication, as most state governments especially Lagos state is insisting that even if the lottery companies have a license issued at the federal level, they still need to get a license from the states.
He called on the National Assembly (NASS) to enact laws protecting operators from unfair harassment by states.
In his words, “It is duplication. If you pay to the Federal Government, you still need to pay here. The National Assembly has to come up with a resolution that would create harmony between the states and the federal Government. Secondly, they should amend the Act.
Speaking at the event, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila stated that there was going to be harmony as the law makers would come up with laws to protect lottery operators in the country and that states should not encroach on federal jurisdiction.
“We would do whatever need to be done legally. There has to be a proper legal framework. Any state cannot encroach to federal jurisdiction. We need to make sure the commercial value of it does not suffer as a result of conflict between the states and the federal governments.” he said
He continued, “a lot of money has gone into this and a lot of money has come out of it. We have seen what goes on all over the world in international best practices. Lottery is a viable means of making money, it is also a way of creating not just wealth but employment and if things are done properly, it is only the people that would benefit in terms of making money, in terms of entertainment and in terms of employment”,
Gbajabiamila later cut the ribbon in the presence of the Chairman of International Lottery & Gaming Limited Prince Adesegun Oniru and expressed hope that Naija Lottery will prove to be a most successful operation while the NLRC DG also pushed the button on the ceremonial draw and wished good luck and prosperity to Naija Lottery personnel and players.
On his part, the company’s Vice Chairman Mr. Ronaldo Minaise reiterated that Naija Lottery was committed to excellence, responsible gaming and players’ satisfaction, adding that it focuses on responsible gaming, protecting the minors, increasing player satisfaction, contributing to the good causes of the state and the nation safeguarding players’ interests.
The draws of the games will be transmitted on Youtube on Niaja Lottery channel and the website www.naijalottery.com.
Stakeholders commended the feat of the company especially as Naija Lottery adopts the green and white colour of Nigeria, which it said represent the greatness of our nation and our faith to a better future.